Note: This column represents the opinions
of the writer and as such, is not purported as fact|
Time for a little more mirth and mayhem to lighten up a late autumn day.
the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook
are revealed for all to see!
Could this be
the new Progressive party's website -- and if so, is this a message to those
members who might not be prepared to toe the Anderton line?
Are you just a little disappointed that Dr Oingo Boingo from Nigeria hasn't
contacted YOU with an offer of millions just for allowing him to launder
some illicit cash through your bank account? Fear not, Mike has collected
plenty of Nigerian Scam emails
for you to reply to.
Have you ever wondered whether those "make money from home" offers you
receive by way of junk emails are legit? Well The Onion has done a good
job of explaining the minor details
involved -- but I say go for it!
Coming Up This Week|
In response to reader demand, I'll be publishing and archiving an updated
version of my guide to website promotion and online marketing. If you've
got a website that needs more traffic, or if you're trying to sell
products or services online then this is the type of information that
you can pay big money for elsewhere.
This supplementary feature will be published online this weekend.
The Sky "Pub Carpark" Decoder
Boy, I got a good load of email following yesterday's column
and my piece about the use of free software to crack Sky TV's UHF service.
Even the NZ Herald has written
a story about it in today's edition.
The number of people who have tried (generally with good results) or are
actually using this software to watch SkyTV has surprised me. I now wonder
how long it will be before we see stolen PCs with copies of the software
pre-installed turn up in pub carparks as a cheap, no-subscription required
Any crim with just a few clues could cobble together such a box for no more than
a few hundred dollars -- remembering that it needn't have a monitor or a mouse
and can get-by with a tiny hard drive. Such a box configured to auto-start
the decryption program and fed with the video-output from a VCR would become
pretty much a black-box and be easy to sell.
I can see it now -- thousands of big burly guys huddled around their TVs watching
"interesting and educational documentaries" on the Discovery Channel through the illegal
PC-based decoder they bought from the boot of an old Holden in the car park of
a South Auckland pub on a Saturday night. Oh yeah...
TV News -- Objective? I don't think so
Regular Aardvark readers will recall the huge amount of anger and frustration
expressed by users of Sky's digital pay TV service when the broadcaster
decided to "upgrade" the firmware in the set-top box.
Almost without exception, people were less than impressed by the way the
"upgrade" turned their channel-changing experience into something akin
to wading through deep mud in gumboots.
Aardvark covered this subject on several
occasions and the NZ Herald also published several pieces on the matter --
but there was not a single mention on TVNZ's One News or TV3's news broadcasts.
Let's be quite clear about this -- here was a problem that affected
as many as 300,000 households and produced more
reader feedback than any
other story ever published on this site -- but neither TVNZ nor TV3/4 would
touch it with a bargepole.
Clearly there's a very sensitive relationship between Sky TV (who just happen
to carry TV1,2,3 and 4 on their digital satellite service) and the free to air
It was no surprise to me therefore, to notice that TV news has also completely
ignored the fact that a surprisingly large number of people are using their
PCs and some free software to watch SkyTV for free. If that number were
just 1,000 people then it's a theft of more than half a million dollars
a year -- hardly petty crime.
When TV news is prepared to ignore stories because they might upset a business
partner you have to wonder about what other news they're carefully choosing
to ignore -- because it might also upset someone they do business with.
If you've ever wondered whether TV news was really objective, I think you
now know it's not.
I suggest that you stick to print and the Net for your news -- it may not
be perfect but at least it hasn't demonstrated quite the degree of self-interest
that our FTA TV broadcasters have.
Have Your Say
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